A Novel Review: Denied

A Novel Review: Denied

By Rebecca Benson

A straightforward detective–private investigator–story! “Denied” by Mary Keliikoa, engages readers into the mysterious drama surrounding a missing person’s case. A case that leads our main character, Kelly Pruett, into the world of gambling and cover-up. But just who is behind it all? Kelly must discover who is the enemy or an ally. 

“Denied” is the second installment in its series. As a side note, I don’t usually read books out of order. This time, I thought, What the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Keliikoa did a great job at familiarizing the readers with characters that have already been set up. I was very much excited to read this novel when I saw that the main character has a deaf daughter. I figured the novel already had a good start. I did not feel lost or confused starting Part 2, in a sense. Also, a fun little tidbit is that Kelly is joined by her ever-loyal pooch, Floyd. With characters established, the plot follows a pretty typical storyline of a missing family member case turned uncertainty and secrecy. I felt the novel tried to cram too much into one story. There is an environmental cover-up in addition to addictions that have come to the surface. 

I wanted to become engrossed and invested in the story, as there were many opportunities for it to turn into a page-turner. I felt it fell short, and I’m not entirely sure where or how that happened. Maybe it stemmed from me not reading the first installment. I’ll take the blame on that one. Nevertheless, the novel isn’t a total loss! It had some great attributes: the author confidently writes about law enforcement and what it looks like to have a deaf child! Although a bit slow and somewhat underwhelming, the reader can expect to enjoy an uncomplicated thriller!

Rating: THREE out of FIVE Pastrami Nations.

Pastrami Nations

Rebecca Benson currently resides in the mountains of California. A mother of one daughter, she has a love for pop culture, with a knack for Disney, all things books, and is currently an educator for the deaf and hard of hearing. An avid reader, she jumped deeper into the world of comic books in 2020, with her interest piqued in the independent scene.

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